Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Immortal Sargent

Does this make you think of John Singer Sargent? Me neither.

We were in Boston recently, and we were surprised to see the Sargent murals. I didn't know he'd done any murals, but there were many of them. They were commissioned by the Boston Public Library and Museum of Fine Arts in the last two decades of his life.

Of course, he was renowned for his portraits, landscapes and figurative works in an impressionist style, but he wasn't satisfied with that. He was glad to have the opportunity to do murals, because he wanted to be remembered for more "serious" subjects. He chose biblical scenes for the murals (here's another link).

I guess we never can tell what we'll be remembered for.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Country mouse

There's an organization of French plein-air painters called
Les Rats des Champs, which, loosely translated, means "Field Mice." What a great name. And some of them are coming to Colorado this month.

I was just thinking about how playfulness is a cornerstone of creativity (if creativity *has* cornerstones). Sometimes it helps if you don't take things too seriously.

Experimentation, imagination, letting go of expectation, these are the things that will put you in the zone and make painting easier.

It doesn't have anything to do with a certain style. You can do illustration, traditional Chinese painting, tonalism, whatever, and still add a light-hearted touch.

When we were in Lima, Peru, we went to the movies. We saw "Fun With Dick & Jane" and also the trailer for "Valiant," the animated pidgeon movie, and I said to the Guerrilla Painter, "You know, if anything is going to redeem the United States these days in the eyes of the world, it's this. THIS makes me proud to be from the U.S."